Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Theater

First Advisor

Rush, David A.

Second Advisor

Bogumil, Mary

Third Advisor

Ojewuyi, Olusegun

Abstract

This thesis presents the written documentation and evaluation of the development of the original play Bananapocalypse from conception to realized production at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. I wrote this play to exist as a unique, live theatrical experience that utilizes the theatre audience in ways that other media, such as television and film, simply cannot, but doing so in a potent and purposeful way connected to the play's plot and ideas. In doing so, I wrote a play that existed to primarily be a comedy, using its humor to reflect on our society and satirically to poke holes in our national identity.
Chapter One is a detailed exploration of the play's origins, plot and character creation, goals of the production, and script development through its selection as part of the 2010-2011 Season. Chapter Two discusses the production process, following the play's continuing evolution as it was brought to the stage in collaboration with a director, actors, and designers. Chapter Three focuses entirely on the audience, detailing their reactions to the play in performance. Chapter Four serves as my evaluation of the process, the performance, and the audience reaction, discovering what these aspects and my journey says about the play and how it needs to further develop. The final chapter is the production draft of the full play script. Recording of original music is included in supplementary material.

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